The Top 75 Startups in Chicago

Chicago, a big city with Midwestern values. They have all of the advantages of an international city with a lower cost of living than you'll find on either coast, a very important consideration when starting a business. When you're not too busy working Chicago has countless entertainment options during your free time. Chicago museums and theaters are top notch. You can also take in a ball game, shop the Magnificent Mile, or sail Lake Michigan, there’s no shortage of things to do in Chicago. Here are the top 75 startups in Chicago that are making the Windy City proud.

#75 MobileX Labs

Apps, games, and tools for the mobile generation. Based out of Chicago, their team of data-scientists, designers, and code-monkeys are cooking up a potent mix of apps.

Apps are the best way to get tailored content at your fingertips. Whether you're a musician looking to grow your fanbase or a small business owner looking for a modern edge, having a mobile app helps you reach the people who support your growth. 

Go to mobilexlabs.com for more info

#74 Human Practice

Helping patients find doctors through the communities they trust and helping practices build word of mouth by sharing knowledge. At Human Practice, they provide digital solutions to equip physicians and patients with the knowledge to find the right care provider.

Visit their website at humanpractice.com

#73 CityScan

Data Driven Intelligence for Smart Cities. Their patented process integrates private and municipal data with the most advanced 3D visual data collection methods available, resulting in improved efficiency operations while reducing overall costs. Their technology provides clients a solution to manage their assets, ensure businesses are operating within local ordinances and provide a safe environment for their residents.

CityScan utilizes the most advanced mobile 3D visualization technologies available to create a precise rendering of the city that is accurate down to a few inches. This near-perfect representation of the city allows CityScan to identify, extract, and inventory any type of object visible from the street up to 18 stories.

CityScan’s solution provides clients with data-driven insights about the assets that are most important to them. In addition to precise asset inventories that cities and utility companies can use for any ongoing activities, CityScan includes detailed breakdowns of the inspection status for all permit-requiring asset types. Further, clients can use this data to help plan for citywide projects like Smart Grid deployments, revenue collection, data driven policy decision making, blight reduction and more.

For more info visit cityscan.com

#72 Moxie Jean

Upscale resale made easy for busy moms. Buy adorable bundles of outfits or request a Moxie Jean Mailer Bag to send like-new clothes in for credit. Babies can be expensive. They can be little consumption engines.

The diapers, the baby food, the toys, the gear, the clothes–the clothes! They go through their clothes so quickly. Onesies, sleepers, play clothes, dressy clothes, holiday outfits, bibs, socks. And if you have a taste for beautiful boutique kids’ clothes, you can easily spend $75 or more on an outfit, which they only wear twice and grow out of.

Moxie Jean is place a for clothes with an exit strategy. Great clothes from your favorite brands and designers, in the sizes you need, when you need them. When you're done, they help you pass them on to another family. 

Become a happy member of their community at moxiejean.com

#71 WyzAnt

WyzAnt is the best tutoring marketplace on the web. 72,000+ tutors offering private lessons in hundreds of subjects like math, science, test prep, foreign languages, music, computers and much more. Millions of parents and students have turned to WyzAnt for their educational needs. The tutors, students and parents who use their site form an amazing, vibrant community.

For more info visit wyzant.com

#70 Built In

The online hub for the Chicago startup community. News, jobs, events & connections. Built In is a network of rapidly growing online communities that offer the number one job board for tech talent, create and curate exclusive content on local startups, host monthly, quarterly and annual events and publish data on the tech sector. Also available in LA, Colorado and Austin.

For more info visit builtin.com, or LA builtinla.com, Colorado builtincolorado.com 

& Austin builtinaustin.com

#69 GetAFive

GetAFive is your place for online video-based AP course reviews. After a diagnostic exam tells them what you need to work on, they offer a customized study plan that directs you to video-based lesson modules taught by expert instructors. They help you prepare for the AP test with your customized plan and plenty of practice tests.

Visit getafive.com for more info

#68 Telnyx

Telnyx provides a cloud-based platform that offers access to carrier grade voice services over the internet. They are focused on enabling a communication fabric for developers and platforms to integrate voice, messaging and other forms of rich communication into their applications and to facilitate that communication universally.

Switch at telnyx.com

#67 Morsel

A culinary community sharing food stories, cooking inspiration and kitchen hacks. Morsel is the backstage pass into to the inspirations and stories of top chefs, mixologists, sommeliers, cicerones and restaurants.

Are you a chef, mixologist, sommelier, cicerone, etc.? Get started using Morsel to tell your stories, document your creations and connect with your peers around the world. Join their premier community of talented individuals and start creating morsels today.

Express your passion for food at eatmorsel.com

#66 Geofeedia

Monitor & analyze real-time social media from any location in the world. Their patented, cloud-based social media monitoring platform lets you search, monitor and analyze real-time social media content by location, from anywhere in the world, with a single click. 

Starting your search is as easy as drawing on a map. Search for any location in the world, from an entire city to a specific address, and visualize real-time, location-based social media content in a matter of seconds.

For more info visit geofeedia.com

#65 amSTATZ

amSTATZ is a cloud-based software for fitness professionals and studios who want to save time, stay organized and grow client relationships. Unlike traditional fitness business software, amSTATZ streamlines a personal trainer's operations, from a simplified 2-way booking and payment to the workout homework they assign to clients to do between sessions.

A fitness professional's clients can join for free, and can book & pay for classes and sessions online, set fitness goals and track their own workout progress.

Check out their website at amstatz.com

#64 Blitsy

Bringing you the best in all things crafts. Blitsy is a free member-only online shopping community that offers private, limited-time sale events with the best brands in the crafting industry. Gain instant access to today's top crafting brands at up to 70% off retail. 

They are on the frontlines of the crafting industry, discovering and delivering the latest designs and trends from your favorite brands. You'll find steals on products for paper crafting, needle crafts, kids, fine arts, jewelry, and so much more.

Visit their website at blitsy.com

#63 Bolstr

Quickly raise funding to expand your small business, build great accredited investor relationships, and retain 100% equity. Bolstr was founded to provide small businesses with a simple fundraising tool that enables them to transform their network and community into a team of investors and supporters.

Through step-by-step guidance, Bolstr democratizes and simplifies the process of raising money through a private offering. 

Get fast, simple funding from real investors at bolstr.com

#62 Uloop

College news & classifieds. An online marketplace and news source for college students. Buy and sell your textbooks, find housing and roommates, find a job or internship, and read news. Uloop now connects millions of students at over 1,500 colleges and universities across the country.

For more info, check out their website at uloop.com

#61 FourKites

Data driven logistics. FourKites is a logistics technology platform utilizing the latest machine-2-machine (M2M) technologies to enhance collaboration between logistics partners. Born from the idea that the supply chain experience could be far more intuitive than what traditional logistics systems currently provide, FourKites is a long-needed industry breakthrough that brings shippers, 3PL’s, brokers and asset-based carriers together on one superior communications platform.

Visit fourkites.com for more info

#60 Project Fixup

They fix people up with something fun to do and someone interesting to meet. Meeting someone new can sometimes be kind of magical. You see a cute guy or girl, strike up a conversation, and see if you hit it off. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work like that. Often, you spend your weekends at bars where you wait hours for a normal guy to strike up a conversation. Or you stay at home and spend the evening combing through random messages from strangers that you have nothing in common with and might not meet for weeks (or ever).

With ProjectFixup, you don't waste your valuable time searching. Instead, you tell them who you are and what you want. They'll show you the person, the place, and the time that fits your needs. If it sounds good, all you have to do is say yes and spend your time getting to know the interesting person across from you over coffee, or a concert, or an art museum. It's a fun, easy way to spontaneously meet a new person and see if there's a spark.

Meet people not profiles at projectfixup.com

#59 Fibroblast

Closing the loop in healthcare by automating the patient referral process. Fibroblast’s mission is to improve the referral process to ensure that no patient falls through a crack in the health care system and misses out on potentially lifesaving care.

Visit fibroblast.com for more info

#58 Eventric

Eventric is a provider of software and online services for the professional live entertainment industry. Eventric's solutions promote connectivity, community, and competency, making the production of live events more profitable and effective.

A tribe of professionals dedicated to making the very best tools and solutions for the people and businesses who make their living performing and presenting live events. Their mission is to make the live entertainment world a more efficient industry, making shows more profitable for the creators and performers.

View the complete software solution for touring professionals at eventric.com

#57 Options Away

Hold your flight for days or even weeks while you finalize your travel plans. Simply find a low fare, lock-in the price... and relax. Go ahead and share your itinerary with friends and family. If you decide to go, just book the ticket that they're holding for you. The best part? If you choose not to travel you don't have to do anything because your option simply expires. With more time and no obligation to purchase your flight, travel planning has never been more convenient.

Start travel planning at optionsaway.com

#56 Pangea

Pangea is a new way to send money to anywhere in Mexico for only $3.95. Pangea started with the mission of making money transfer simple, fair and safe. Since then, they’ve been striving to enhance the security, and reduce the cost and the pain points of money transfer. Their first solution allows users to complete a transfer in three easy steps and pay with any US prepaid or debit card, with a nationwide cash solution coming soon. Receivers in Mexico can collect the transfers in cash at 10,000+ locations in urban and rural areas, or receive the money directly to any (65,000,000+) Mexican debit card or bank account. Pangea is currently in beta accepting transfers from limited states (AL, ID, IL, GA, MS, MT, NM and SC) in the US to anywhere in Mexico. 

Visit gopangea.com for more info

#55 Earshot

Where location starts the conversation. The Earshot solution allows businesses to go beyond traditional social monitoring and analysis, and proactively connects brands in real-time with key customers while they are on site.

Earshot was founded with the goal of synthesizing location-based insight and unique real-time information to provide brands with a smarter approach to real-time precision-based marketing. Their goal from the beginning has been to bring brands and consumers together through proper timing and context. Through social media, they can unlock new clues to make this a reality, where consumers have ultimately felt more connected and trusting of those brands seeking to win them over.

Visit earshotinc.com for more info

#54 LearnCore

LearnCore is a cloud-based learning platform, focused on “mission critical” skills development and the creation of more top performers in your organization. Its collaborative technology saves time and allows participants to quickly practice a skill/response and learn from top performers. Executives and managers get intelligence, knowing where their team stands and where the gaps lie. 

Unlike most “checkbox” Learning Management Systems (LMS) that are HR-centric and focus on compliance training, LearnCore focuses on high stakes informal knowledge that lies within each department. Its patent pending Pitch IQ module allows someone to ‘practice’ a skill and curates the best examples within the team. Pitch IQ improves sales performance, increases the speed to proficiency, and makes sure the team is client ready before the first meeting. 

Immediate and measurable return on investment can be derived from traditional training cost reductions and enhanced revenue via increased engagement and success rates in developing top performers. LearnCore provides strategic services pre and post launch to ensure that the targeted ROI is obtained.

Visit learncore.com for more info

#53 Learnerator

Thousands of free practice AP, SAT, and ACT questions & solutions, practice your way to the score you want. Learnerator wants to change the way students prepare for their AP exams by steering them toward a more interactive platform where they can take a “learning by doing” approach.

With their comprehensive practice questions & accompanying explanations developed by expert teachers, students will build confidence, be better prepared, and understand concepts more deeply.

See all courses at learnerator.com

#52 UpCity

Get your business more free web traffic. Thousands of small businesses are using UpCity to get free traffic through SEO and Inbound Marketing. UpCity can help you get free traffic from search engines, social and local sites through their easy-to-use software and services. They know trying to rank on Google can feel overwhelming, but UpCity has now removed all of the guesswork and anxiety. They provide a simple, customized plan for you to follow. They also provide reporting to track your progress along the way. 

Go to their website for more info at upcity.com

#51 Spartz

Their websites make it easy to create and share content so others can learn, laugh, and feel inspired. The Spartz Network, including OMG Facts, GivesMeHope, and MuggleNet, attracts 15 million users across a dozen websites and apps. Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Chicago, Spartz Media’s brands have over 16 million followers on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Their communities are passionate and loyal – 60% of their young, highly engaged audience visits a Spartz site every day. 

See how they're turning virality into a science at spartzinc.com 

#50 Interior Define

A new concept in furniture: Thoughtfully designed and well-crafted pieces that are fairly priced and made-to-order.  They handcraft each piece, after you order. The result is high-quality furniture made just for you.

Furniture often passes through several sets of hands before arriving in your living room. Retailers that do source directly from manufacturers mark up prices significantly to support top-heavy retail operations.

Their direct factory relationships, digital focus, and nimble structure uniquely enable them to deliver remarkable quality and affordability.

For more info visit interiordefine.com

#49 Risk I/O 

A vulnerability threat management platform. Risk I/O is a software-as-a-service platform that correlates external Internet breach data, exploit data and zero-day threat intelligence with internal vulnerability scan data so organizations can focus on fixing the most critical vulnerabilities. Risk I/O processes over a billion vulnerabilities a day against Internet breach data for its users.

Go to risk.io for more information

#48 Machinio

Machinio.com is a search engine for buying and selling used industrial equipment and machinery. They’ve created the most comprehensive marketplace of its kind—covering metalworking, construction and agricultural machinery.

Search used machinery at machinio.com

#47 Inventables 

The hardware store for designers. They sell tools and materials to make just about anything. At Inventables they believe the world is at the beginning of a new Renaissance. They see power in product development shifting from major corporations to individual designers and entrepreneurs. The availability of low cost manufacturing tools and low cost distribution on internet sites are leveling the playing field. Small teams can now make unique high value products that major corporations can’t justify because they aren't for the masses.

Visit inventables.com for more info

#46 Review Trackers

Software that generates new reviews, engages your customers and lets you listen and respond to their comments to discover key business insights.

Review Trackers is the industry’s leading online review monitoring and management tool for businesses with one or more physical locations. Using proprietary Web crawling and data collection technology, the tool tracks, aggregates, and analyzes reviews from TripAdvisor, Google, Foursquare, and all major community-based review sites (over 50 in total – and growing).

Using Review Trackers, you can listen closely and respond promptly to customers – in ways that protect your reputation, drive your sales, and improve your business performance.

Start a free trial at reviewtrackers.com

#45 Resultly

Your stylist, personal shopper and inspiration board. Connect with friends, celebrities, and expert bloggers to help you uncover your perfect buy. Create collections to share your personal style with friends and be the next trendsetter. 

Discover the best deals, get notifications when the latest styles become available from any retailer, and when they go on sale. Replace your search, pin board, and ecommerce apps all with Resultly.

Find, buy and share from thousands of merchants at result.ly

#44 SwiftIQ

Empowering companies to establish a foundation to monetize data with faster intelligence, visualization, machine learning and on-demand APIs. SwiftIQ provides web-service application programming interface (API) infrastructure to facilitate data accessibility and predictive analytics through the Swift Access and Swift Predictions products. Swift Access is an award-winning backend platform to unify and secure disconnected data then deliver and analyze it on-demand to power real-time digital actions. Swift Predictions allows users to apply adaptive, machine learning algorithms to discover insights fast and make applications smarter.

Request a demo at swiftiq.com

#43 Real Food Blends

Shelf-stable, 100% real food meals for people on feeding tubes. Real Food Blends believes that all people – even those on feeding tubes – deserve easy access to real food. Their meals can be used to supplement a feeding tube formula-only diet and offer some nutritional variety and the benefits of 100% real food.

Go to realfoodblends.com for more info

#42 Modest, Inc.

Building products to help people communicate more efficiently. Modest connects retailers with mobile buyers, and mobile buyers with the products they really want. They think shopping on mobile should be much easier. This means less typing, smarter purchasing, and more flexibility.

Visit their website at modest.com

#41 RIVS

Improve speed & quality using their online software to automatically screen (written, phone and video screens) and manage job applicants. RIVS is web software for digital written, voice, and video interviews; as well as scheduling tools for live interviews. Companies that are using RIVS are trying to eliminate low value activities like coordinating interview schedules and wasting time interviewing the wrong people.

Request a demo at rivs.com

#40 Avant

Avant is changing the way consumers borrow money. Utilizing advanced algorithms and machine-learning capabilities, the company offers a unique and highly customized approach to the personal loan process. The combination of technology, analytics and customer service capabilities allows the company to provide a simple process for personal loans and line of credit products to borrowers, all entirely online.

Visit their website at avant.com

#39 Caremerge

Pioneering the use of mobile technologies in senior living communities to improve communication and care coordination. Caremerge forges meaningful connections between providers, payers, families and seniors seeking to improve communication in today’s complex healthcare environment. 


With a revolutionary, easy-to-use cloud-based coordination platform, Caremerge keeps the entire care team informed and cohesive through an intuitive interface that enables real-time staff interaction, provides families with peace of mind and improves overall senior wellness. 

Visit caremerge.com for more info.

#38 SimpleRelevance

Smarter messages drive more sales. Increase sales by sending the perfect email, personalized for your customers with the right products, sent at the right time. Their personalization technology optimizes your email’s subject line, content, and delivery time.

This technology dramatically increases open rates, click-through rates, and sales through your email marketing program. The best part? It takes no time. While you’re focusing on other tasks, their team will create and send personalized emails – customized with your company's logo and branding - at the optimal time of day.

Request a demo at simplerelevance.com

#37 Snapsheet

Snapsheet is the industry's first mobile insurance claims solution, currently working with the top insurance carriers in the country. Snapsheet's patent pending technology streamlines the fragmented claims process of obtaining an estimate and settling a claim. From the moment a claim is filed to settlement, Snapsheet's self-service mobile claims solution empowers the customer to obtain an estimate and settle the claim using a smartphone. Not only is Snapsheet 70% faster than the current dilapidated process, Snapsheet is also half the cost of traditional channels used by insurance carriers. With dedicated customer support specialists and world class estimators, Snapsheet is the leading partner of auto insurance carriers as they transition to a self-service claims model rooted in mobile technology.

Simplify your claims process at snapsheetapp.com

#36 Optyn

Marketing made simple. Set-up an email marketing campaign in less than 2 minutes. Optyn makes email marketing easy. Their goal is to help business grow. They are able to do so because they have created an easy-to-use tool. With their pre-generated email marketing campaigns, it takes a business owner 2 minutes to send out an email campaign to their customer base. With this, business owners do not have to spend 30 minutes to an hour creating a campaign. 

Optyn's tools do not just allow you to engage your current customers, but to engage prospects and create them into new, loyal customers. It is a tool that works great as a B2C email marketing platform and also a B2B email marketing platform.

Create a campaign at optyn.com

#35 LendSquare

Helping small businesses grow through community lending. LendSquare provides small businesses with a web platform, marketing advice, a legal framework, and a payment system that makes borrowing from a group of individuals simple and transparent.

Small businesses can secure financing at lower interest rates, and individuals can make profitable investments in their local businesses.

For more info visit lendsquare.com

#34 Procured Health

Helping hospitals tackle their fastest growing cost - medical devices - by delivering an unparalleled level of transparency via the web. Procured is a leading provider of technology driven solutions that optimize clinical resource management and transform the supply chain into a strategic asset. High performing health systems and hospitals rely on Procured's medical device research to make purchasing decisions on a daily basis.

Request a demo or a research sample at procuredhealth.com

#33 Popular Pays

With Popular Pays, you could get a cup of coffee in exchange for posting about it to your 500 followers on Instagram. You could even go skydiving. More influence = better products. Post to Instagram however you want after getting a product and the app works in the background to track your posting karma.

Local deals are live in Chi, NYC, SF, Philly, Dallas, and Austin. Many products available nationally from Bonobos, Harry's Razor, American Apparel, and more.

Your photos are worth more than you think at popularpays.com

#32 TradingView

Network where active traders exchange ideas to maximize profits. Infographics for traders. Users publish ideas about stocks directly on stocks, and then collaborate to improve each other's performance in the market.

Get real-time information and market insights. Easy and intuitive for beginners, and powerful enough for advanced chartists – TradingView has all charting tools you need to share and view trading ideas. Real-time data, and browser-based charts let you do your research from anywhere, since there are no installations or complex setups.

Sign up for free at tradingview.com

#31 doggyloot

Discover hand picked dog products at discounts worth howling about–with free shipping. A little extra pooch pampering is something we can all get behind. Dogs are the ultimate optimists. They zap stress and cheer us up. Doggyloot aims to extend these same good vibes to your shopping experience. They help you to find exactly what your hound craves at competitive prices. Their product team carefully researches everything they sell. No exceptions. 

Discover hand picked dog products at doggyloot.com

#30 WeDeliver

WeDeliver connects businesses to their customers by providing same-day delivery of goods, real-time tracking and customer feedback. Using a fleet of curated, on-demand drivers powered by algorithmic dispatching, the company ensures the quickest delivery of any product from any business to any customer at any time.

Visit their website at wedeliver.us

#29 Brideside

Great bridesmaid dresses, no drama. Get connected to a personal stylist, browse & save designer bridesmaid dresses and order your favorites to try on at home. Brideside is an online inspiration and shopping platform for designer bridesmaid dresses. They are using their fashionable eyes to carefully select and style bridesmaid dresses to make bridal parties flawlessly gorgeous.

Visit brideside.com for more info

#28 Shiftgig

Shiftgig is the online community for the service and hospitality industries. They provide better connections for better employment in the service industry. They help job candidates and hiring managers connect with each other and get positions filled. They save employers time and money by streamlining the hiring process and delivering high-quality candidates. They encourage people to connect with other people to get references, referrals, and show off social influence. On Shiftgig, you’ll also find the latest information on industry news, events and deals.

For more info go to shiftgig.com

#27 MightyNest

Equipping you with the knowledge and gear to live a healthy, active, mindful life. MightyNest is a unique Web site that provides you the ability to research, get advice and buy natural, organic and non-toxic products all in one place. All of the products they sell are free from known toxic ingredients such as: BPA, PVC, Phthalates, Lead, Melamine, Formaldehyde, Flame retardants, Parabens and more. Their dream is for MightyNest to become a place where people feel motivated and empowered, not discouraged and judged; somewhere people feel encouraged to make changes in their lives, whether large or small. They truly believe that simple changes bring mighty impact.

Check out their website at mightynest.com

#26 Threadless

Threadless is a creative community that makes, supports, and buys great art. When you buy from them, you support the artist who created the design. 

Everything they do gives you, and all the creative minds in the world, more opportunities to make great art. They started printing on t-shirts and then they realized tons of products make great canvases. They seek out these canvases, so you can continue to make and pick the best art. The weird art. The geeky art. The beautiful art. And every time you buy from Threadless, you're supporting great art too.

Threadless loves helping art unknowns become art totally-knowns, which is why every single one of their products carries an artist's name. They support their artist community in every way possible, whether it be through their annual creative awards, commission-based award system, or simply by tweeting their name to the world. Lots of our artists have even gone on to start their own companies. 

Check out their website at threadless.com

#25 Opternative

The first online eye exam. Opternative's refractive eye exam delivers a prescription, signed by an ophthalmologist, for glasses and contacts. 

A refractive eye exam is only part of your comprehensive eye care. It’s important that you visit an eye care professional’s office for an eye health exam once every two years, as recommended by the American Optometric Association. After taking Opternative’s refractive eye exam, they’ll help you locate an optometrist or ophthalmologist in your area.

Everyone is eligible to take Opternative’s eye exam, but people under 18, over 40, or with specific medical conditions (diabetes, hypertension, known eye disease, etc.) don’t qualify for receiving prescription services at this time.

Sign up at opternative.com

#24 Learnmetrics

Learnmetrics is a product-agnostic, data analysis platform for educators. Their product knocks down the walls between disparate data sources and gives educators the 360° data needed to drive outcomes for their students. 

By pairing actionable insights with their personalized learning engine, Learnmetrics streamlines the process around data consumption and communication when it matters most.

Go to learnmetrics.com for more info

#23 Charlie App

Charlie automatically researches the people you meet with, before you see them. Never walk in unprepared, and don't waste time researching. Let Charlie do the hard work for you so you can close more deals. Their technology filters through thousands of sources on your prospects and clients to give you a leg up on the competition. Charlie combs through 100s of sources and automatically sends you a one‐pager on everyone you’re going to meet with, before you see them.

Get started at charlieapp.com

#22 SpotHero

SpotHero is a mobile app and website that makes life easier for the daily driver. Their on-demand parking app helps drivers find parking and reserve a spot for up to 50% off with convenient garages, lots & valet stands. 

SpotHero is on a mission to bring their exceptional service and incredible deals to cities across the United States. One at a time, they'll be adding cities around the country. 

Download the free SpotHero iPhone or Android app via the iTunes App Store or on Google Play. Enjoy the ability to reserve parking at a moments notice.

Check out the 11 cities SpotHero is currently available at spothero.com 

#21 BucketFeet

BucketFeet represents the work of over 5,000 artists in 60 countries. Every time you wear BucketFeet, you share an artist's story with the world.

After a chance meeting in Argentina between two strangers – one an artist and one who was backpacking around the world. A pair of hand-drawn shoes ended up inspiring thousands of conversations with amazing people on six continents, and showed the founders of BucketFeet the power of art to bring people together. Based in Chicago, BucketFeet is on a mission to connect people through art by tapping into the creativity and diversity of the world.

Check out bucketfeet.com for more info

#20 Pear

Where groups and sponsors connect. Across the country people are seeking sponsorship support for their groups, teams and events. Pear brings the sponsorship process online, and makes it easier than ever before. Helping local groups seek and earn sponsorship support from local businesses and national brands. Pear sponsors provide awards such as custom apparel, catering and other services.

Raise money by connecting with brands and local businesses near you, for free at pearup.com

#19 Fooda

The easiest way to get great food at work. Powered by technology, Fooda works with restaurants to provide awesome food at reasonable prices to employees while at work. They offer catering, delivery and popup programs for employers looking to add more variety and convenience for their staff. 

Visit their website at fooda.com

#18 Packback

Redefining the textbook industry. $5 digital textbook rentals by their student-run startup. Packback offers pay-per-use access to eTextbooks for $5 or less. 

Packback offers students a classroom parallel to popular sources such as iTunes and Redbox to students. They've done this by creating a rent-to-own (pay-per use) model for eTextbooks. 

Packback aligns money spent on the textbook with the usage pattern of the students. Additionally, if the student needs the book for an extended period of the semester (180 days), all money spent on the eTextbook to date goes directly towards the extended rental of that same eTextbook. It is a win-win proposition for both students and publishers. Price-sensitive students pay per use and can choose to own the book whenever they wish, while financially suffering publishers regain revenue lost to the “used book market”. 

Join the movement at packbackbooks.com

#17 Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a social media management tool created to help businesses grow their social media presence. The web application integrates with multiple social networks where consumers are engaging with businesses and brands. 

The application also offers team or individual engagement and publishing tools with in-depth analytics, brand monitoring, competitive insights and social crm features. Sprout Social is known for its intuitive, easy-to-use web and mobile platforms. 

Start your free trial at sproutsocial.com

#16 Raise

Raise is a marketplace where you can save on gift cards to your favorite brands & sell gift cards for cash. On the Raise marketplace, you can sell gift cards for cash at the price you choose. They accept gift cards and merchandise credit from any brand or restaurant, and you get paid when the gift card sells. Simply choose the selling price, and your gift card will be featured on their marketplace in front of thousands of savvy shoppers.

Buy and sell gift cards at raise.com

#15 Narrative Science

Narrative Science is the leader in automated narrative generation for the enterprise. Powered by artificial intelligence, its Quill platform analyzes data from disparate sources, understands what is important, then automatically generates perfectly written narratives to convey meaning from the data for any intended consumer or business audience, at unlimited scale. It does what data visualizations cannot: it identifies and conveys relevant information in conversational language that people can immediately comprehend, trust and act on. Organizations rely on Narrative Science to better serve customers with useful written content and to increase efficiency, freeing employees to focus on high-productivity activities and innovation.

For more information go to narrativescience.com

#14 Belly

Belly makes it fun to earn points and get the rewards you actually want at the businesses you love. Belly is the leading loyalty platform in the country. With thousands of merchants and millions of members, Belly revolutionizes traditional loyalty concepts and works with each business to design a customized, unique rewards suite their customers actually want. Using a tablet and single card or iPhone or Android app, Belly unlocks new opportunities for customer engagement and digital advocacy. 

Check out the rewards you want at places you love at bellycard.com

#13 MentorMob

Your lifestyle learning site where you can start, enhance or master any skill or hobby for free. MentorMob is the world’s first crowdsourced learning website where a community of enthusiasts curate online courses from the web’s best content. 

The growing MentorMob community finds the best online learning content and organizes it into comprehensive courses that can teach you anything from the basics of StarCraft to expert snowboarding tricks.

MentorMob uses free existing content to create one in-depth course in anything you want to learn. Each course covers beginning, intermediate and expert skill levels, building a full, free online class for you from existing online content.

Reserve your spot at mentormob.com

#12 Tempo IQ

Build real-time monitoring of sensor data into your application and push alerts to your users based on the conditions that matter to you. From simple static thresholds to complex chains of conditions across sensors, their flexible monitoring and alerting system makes it easy to develop and refine rules, detect changes, and identify trends in your sensor data. TempoIQ enables real-time visibility into your application, so you can understand changing conditions and take action now.

Request a demo at tempoiq.com

#11 OpenAirplane

Making renting a plane as easy as renting a car. OpenAirplane makes it easy to find, book, fly, and pay for aircraft rental online or with a mobile device.

The OpenAirplane Universal Pilot Checkout allows fixed base operators around the country to easily verify a Pilot's qualifications and training in each make and model aircraft. Pilots gain access to planes around the U.S. without the usual hassle and expense.

Visit their website at openairplane.com

#10 CancerIQ

CancerIQ transforms real-time clinical and genomics data buried in publications and EMRs into insights needed to deliver precision cancer care. They help providers use data analytics to interpret complex data, identify patient risks, and highlight the best evidence-based treatments. 

Their "GPS for cancer" is used by patients and providers, and paid for by hospitals, insurers, and pharma.

Learn more at cancer-iq.com

#9 ParkWhiz

Making it easy to find and pay for parking. ParkWhiz is the number one place to find and reserve guaranteed daily, monthly and event parking via web or mobile app. ParkWhiz helps you make informed parking decisions by comparing prices, locations, amenities and providing reviews. 

Additionally, ParkWhiz creates software to help parking owners manage and market their parking using the ParkWhiz website, mobile apps, and data APIs. 

ParkWhiz.com represents an innovative breakthrough in the way people park. With 3 million spots, 2,000 licensed parking providers in its network across the country, ParkWhiz helps people park their cars quickly and efficiently. 

Today ParkWhiz, which is based in Chicago, supports parking requests in top markets, including Chicago, Dallas, New York, LA, San Francisco and Baltimore, near popular destinations like Madison Square Garden, Wrigley Field, and LAX Airport, to name a few.

Find and book your parking spot at parkwhiz.com

#8 Give Forward

The #1 site to raise money for medical bills. They help family & friends give financial & emotional support to a loved one in need. Too often people are comfortable with giving gifts of money during times of celebration such as a graduation or marriage, but during times of real need, like a critical illness, people are afraid to give financial help. GiveForward fundraising pages make providing financial support easier for everyone involved. With a GiveForward page, beneficiaries can feel more comfortable asking for support and donors know that their help is welcome and appreciated.

Raise money for yourself or a loved one at giveforward.com

#7 Eventup

The largest event venue marketplace in the US. Eventup is changing the way people book and plan events.

They've created the only comprehensive marketplace for events by providing access to locations of all types. From traditional locations like banquet halls to non-traditional like art galleries and warehouses, along with unique and amazing lofts, penthouses, estates, and much more.

It’s extremely difficult to find a location and can take weeks at a time. Eventup allows people to discover these locations simply and easily within a few minutes, reducing the existing broken and fragmented market.

Overall, they’ve created a consumer product that allows venue owners the ability to make money off of previously under-monetized assets while allowing people access to locations and experiences that were previously unattainable.

Discover how easy it works at eventup.com

#6 Retrofit

Lasting weight management through personalized expert guidance and smart wireless devices. Retrofit provides a new approach to weight loss that is designed to deliver long-term results. They combine the power of wireless client tracking with the expertise of a multi-disciplinary expert team in an innovative year-long program. This helps clients lose 10% to 15% of their body weight and achieve proven weight stability before graduating from the program.

Visit retrofitme.com to see how it works

#5 Blinkfire Analytics

Blinkfire Analytics provides a social media analytics and publishing platform for professional sports organizations, their players and agents, and the brands that sponsor them. The platform sits in the middle of the teams, players, brands, and fans to provide intelligence on social media publishing and sponsorship sales. 

Blinkfire's key technology allows publishers and brands to analyze social media consumption and brand engagement, not only in text, but also images and video. Concentrated first in the world of sports, they are able to paint a 360 degree engagement picture for teams, players, and brands.

Go to stats.blinkfire.com to see how it works

#4 Food Genius

An award-winning technology and services company that delivers big data and insight solutions to the food industry. Food Genius is a company made up of people who are passionate about food and technology. They use proprietary data technologies to drive innovation by making data and insights accessible and easily digestible to the food industry. Their goal is to understand all of what America currently eats and drinks and will want to eat and drink in the future. They strive to become the preeminent data and insight provider to the food industry. 

Unique to Food Genius is their ability to provide high fidelity insights, leverage a technology-based approach and build relationships with their partners. Food Genius’ innovative design and intuitive interface allow for a truly user-friendly data insights solution. Food Genius is a transformative, technology-enabled data and insight provider that is disrupting the status quo of market research.

See their foodservice insights, data and solutions at getfoodgenius.com

#3 Scout

Next-generation home security made sleek, smart, & affordable. Scout combines cutting-edge hardware design with intuitive, easy-to-use controls. Since Scout requires no wires or technicians, you can install it yourself and take it with you if you move. Their monitoring technology gives you peace of mind at home and away, and it allows you to customize your response to all alerts. Scout has low hardware costs and no required monthly fees, making home security affordable and accessible for everyone.

See how it works at scoutalarm.com

#2 Rocketmiles

Rocketmiles allows customers to book premium hotels at the same rates of other online booking services and you earn thousands of airline miles or points, up to 5,000 per night. They offer a minimum of 1,000 miles per night on bookings, with the average traveler earning 7,000 miles for each reservation. Their mission is to fuel people’s dream vacations. 

Book hotels, earn miles and vacation faster at rocketmiles.com

#1 YCharts

The financial terminal of the web. Objective, intuitive information on more than 20,000 stocks and 350,000 indicators. Who says a terminal has to sit on your desktop in the office? In today's world, it should be with you wherever you go. They're building YCharts so today's leading business and financial minds have access to powerful information whenever and wherever they need it.

Start a free trial at ycharts.com

Those are our choices for the top top 75 startups in Chicago. For a weekly list of the very best articles from around the internet about startups subscribe below. If you have any feedback about this list, send us a message below to help us improve this list and similar articles in the future. Thanks!

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